Apple's contract manufacturing partner Foxconn has started to assemble the current generation of iPhone units - the iPhone 11 lineup - in its plant near Chennai, India, a source familiar with the matter told TechCrunch.
Foxconn already makes smartphones in India for Apple Inc and Xiaomi Corp, though in March it suspended production due to the novel coronavirus outbreak. Besides that, the device might carry on the A14 Bionic chipset that would appear on the iPhone 12 series later this year, alongside 4GB of RAM and FaceID instead of using back TouchID like the iPhone SE 2020. IT and Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad had said India will initially aim to attract top 5 global mobile manufacturing companies and also promote five local companies that will be identified through a screening process. This is for the first time Apple is manufacturing a top-of-the-line iPhone model in the country.
The US tech giant is reportedly exploring ways to cut its reliance on China, which produces the vast majority of iPhone models today, and to focus on the world's second largest smartphone market, India. Apple might even export the iPhone 11.
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The iPhone 11 is available in India at a starting price of around Rs 68,000 a unit. That changed past year when Apple started assembling iPhone XR locally in India and now the current-generation iPhone 11 model has joined the list. Its supplier Foxconn is also planning to invest up to $1 billion in India.
Apple plans to launch its online store in India in a few months and open its first brick-and-mortar retail store next year, chief executive Tim Cook announced earlier this year.